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SEA180 Coastal Tavern – Great Food and a Spectacular View!
By Carol LeBeau
5/27/2014 11:29:34 AM


–FULL BIO
 
Do you have a favorite San Diego area restaurant just for special occasions? Chances are it’s one of an array of excellent eateries located in an upscale, seaside destination such as Coronado, La Jolla or Del Mar right?
 
How about Imperial Beach?    
 
Before you dismiss that idea, you may just want to head to South Bay and check out what may just be the best-kept secret in waterfront dining. It’s not only “special,” it’s located just steps from the sand and minutes from Mexico.
 
SEA180 Coastal Tavern is located in the new Pier South resort in IB and I think this newest offering from the Cohn Restaurant Group is simply stunning.
 
My sweet husband, Tom, recently treated me to a delightful birthday dinner at the new, contemporary beachfront resort that’s changing both the landscape and attitude of the sleepy beach community most known for its annual sandcastle competition.  
 
You may just want to add the new beachfront resort and restaurant to IB’s notable list. With sweeping 180 degree views of the Coronado Islands, South Bay and Mexico, the name SEA180 Coastal Tavern was a no-brainer! Expansive, breathtaking views are visible from every table.  
 
But I think the (almost!) on-the-sand patio seating offers the best waterfront dining experience in town. Despite the evening chill, heaters kept us warm and toasty. (For added warmth, our server even offered to bring us cozy throws!) So we lingered over dinner until the sun dropped below the horizon. The perfect end to a perfect birthday. 
 
Oh! Did I mention the food??!!
 
SEA180’s menu includes several fabulous entrées from their killer Wagyu Cheeseburger and creative charred vegetable wrap to Mary’s “Beer Can” Smoked Half Chicken and Miso Marinated Yellowtail.
 
But if you’re like me and enjoy trying a little of everything go for the “shares” menu.  We chose several items. The seared sea scallops are to die for. (I gobbled the last one while Tom wasn’t looking!) 
 
We also sampled the gingered pulled pork empanadas and one of the Cohn restaurants’ signature recipes…fire roasted Brussels sprouts. Ev
en if you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, I challenge you to give these a try. Prepared with bits of ham and balsamic glaze, these veggies are better than candy!
 
Prepared with the freshest, organic, sustainable and local ingredients possible, enjoy Mexican shrimp ceviche, smoked salmon gringo sushi, ground lamb sliders and mushroom raviolis…nearly 30 yummy “shares” from which to choose.
 
These great eats are also available at great happy hour prices. SEA180’s beautiful bar with a million-dollar view is a perfect place to g
ather after a long day’s work.  
 
There’s a lot going on in IB. SEA180 owner, David Cohn says he’s happy to be part of it. “We hope the restaurant will help revitalize the area by attracting a broader range of visitors who would otherwise never venture into this laid-back beach community,” says Cohn.  
 
“Through this restaurant and adjoining boutique hotel, we look forward to putting Imperial Beach on the map – providing a top-notch destination that truly showcases the pristine, coastal location.”
 
Thanks, David. Tom and I so enjoyed our SEA180 experience, we returned again for Easter Sunday brunch and brought along our nephew, Ian and his girlfriend Katie. What could be better than brunch on the beach?!  
 
It was the highlight of the weekend! (OK, maybe AFTER the Resurrection!)
Paralyzed for Life? Maybe not!
By Carol LeBeau
5/20/2014 3:38:30 PM


–FULL BIO
 

Medical breakthrough means hope for those with spinal cord injuries

Medical breakthroughs make great news. In fact, reporting on so-called medical "miracles" has been one of the highlights of my career. But nothing compares with learning one of those "miracles" could possibly help change the life of someone I know and love. 

Ten years ago, Glenn Henry was in a freak motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. At 65, my professor, coach, mentor and friend had just retired from the athletic department at my alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa.

To celebrate the milestone, Glenn and his wife, Karen, bought a Harley and hit the road. Riding along a quiet, but winding country road one beautiful fall day, their bike suddenly skidded on a patch of gravel and went down. The former winning swim coach, popular professor and successful entrepreneur was able to maneuver the spill so Karen suffered only minor injuries. But Glenn flew over the handlebars...landed on his head and severed his spine at the neck.

Left: Coach Glenn Henry, his wife, Karen, Tom and Carol.

In a split second, one of the most active, full-of-life people I have ever known found his retirement dreams of travel and adventure dashed on some loose gravel. He could no longer do anything on his own but speak and breathe. 

With his indomitable spirit, fiercely supportive family and unwavering faith, Glenn has beat the odds and continues to find joy in living – holding out hope that someday, medical science will come up with a cure for spinal cord injuries (SCI).

Recently, his dream moved one step closer to reality.

After his accident, Glenn’s three children connected with the Christopher Reeve Foundation and for the last decade, Lisa, Lori and Lance have been working tirelessly with the non-profit raising money and awareness on behalf of their Dad and others sidelined due to SCI.  

Last month came news of what may just be the “miracle” the Henry’s have been praying for.  The stunning results of a clinical trial funded by the Reeve Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, could be a game-changer for thousands living with paralysis due to SCI.

Four paralyzed men can now voluntarily move their legs after researchers implanted a device that shoots electrical stimulation into their spinal cords.

Two of the four men were told there was no chance of recovery. But with the help of epidural stimulation, they can now move their hips, ankles and toes.

The study results, published in the journal, “Brain,” are groundbreaking giving hope to many who were given wheelchairs and told to just “live with it.” 

The electrical stimulator used in the treatment sends electric pulses of various frequencies and intensities to specific regions of the spinal cord. The electrical signal helped the spinal cord reuse the broken neural network and control movement of limbs.

The treatment also helped improve patient’s overall health. No surprise to Glenn and his family. Because of the added movement, the men in the study developed muscle mass, had better blood circulation and reported greater well being. 

You better believe, within moments of getting the news, the Henry’s were filling out paper work to hopefully enroll my friend in the next study. We’re praying this is just the beginning of renewed hope for Glenn and some 200,000 others in the U.S. living with SCI and hope for a future where paralysis is completely reversible.

Save a Life from Suicide
By Carol LeBeau
5/12/2014 12:57:50 PM


–FULL BIO
 

Imagine sadness so profound, despair so deep, that it seems the only way out is suicide. Tragically, that scene plays out for hundreds of San Diegans every year.  

In 2012, 413 men, women and, yes, even children, died at their own hands – a record number of suicides in San Diego. Sadly, the number of self-inflicted deaths continues to rise, with no end in sight. 

Perhaps that explains the huge turnout recently for the annual “Save a Life” Walk sponsored by Survivors of Suicide Loss. A record crowd of 2,000 gathered for the annual 3.1-mile trek around Balboa Park, with most walking in memory of loved ones lost to suicide. (Learn more www.soslsd.org).

Despite the disturbing theme, as a survivor (I lost my mother to suicide) and participant, I assure you the “Save a Life” Walk is neither depressing nor somber, but full of love, laughter and hope – due, in part, to the presence of Pastor Joe Davis.

As we gathered together before the 5K begins, emotions run raw for many. But Joe’s uplifting invocation never fails to include a perfect prayer to comfort those who have survived the loss of a loved one to suicide.

You might say Joe’s the perfect guy for the job! Every day, as chaplain for the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office, Joe ministers to grieving families dealing with all kinds of traumatic death, including suicide. 

Every time he speaks at the annual Walk, Joe says he can count on someone coming up to him, reminding him about the time he came to their home, “with the news that their son, or wife, or father had died at their own hands.”

It’s an emotionally taxing job, but the affable and easy-going Joe believes he’s been called to comfort families and friends of loved ones who have died. He deals with death of every description. “What makes suicide different,” says the chaplain, “is that other deaths can usually be explained.” So Joe says his job is to be there for distraught loved ones “trying to make sense out of something that never makes sense.”

He admits, dealing daily with death and human anguish hasn’t been easy. Several years ago, plagued by emotional stress and stomach problems, Joe turned to prayer asking, “If I’m supposed to be doing this, why is it so hard?”

He believes God’s answer was loud and clear, “If you’re going to get that involved, you’re no good to the families and you’re no good to me.”

“Now, instead of being part of the storm,” explains Joe, “I’m the calm in the midst of the storm.”

But last year, in a tragic irony, the “storm” came to Joe personally when he got the call that rocked his world. Following years of depression, his own father had taken his life. “It was the most painful, horrible training I’ve ever had,” Joe told me, tears welling up.

As he deals with his own lingering pain, Joe believes his experience has helped him better help others. “Now I can honestly say, ‘I know what you’re going through.’”

And so Joe continues his unpaid job, as the only full-time chaplain for a medical examiner in the US, with his faith and signature sense of humor to carry him through the next crisis.

 
“I don’t know the shelf life of a coroner’s chaplain,” quips Davis. “I’m just being obedient to where I’m supposed to be.”
 
Thank you for making a difference, Joe. 
 

Q&A with Badalin Helvink, M.D. 

According to Badalin Helvink, M.D., medical director of the Psychiatry Program at the Palomar Center for Behavioral Health, suicide is our nation’s top public health issue. Here she explains how we all play a role in saving lives.

Carol: Why is the suicide rate rising?

Dr. Helvink:  Violence, economic stress, substance abuse, depression and anxiety, family history of mental illness, access to guns, lack of access to health care … take your pick!
 

Carol: How do we get a handle on the problem?

Dr. Helvink:  First, by talking about it. Sadly, a stigma still exists when it comes to mental illness. 
 

Carol: Why can’t we get past the stigma?

Dr. Helvink:  Unfortunately, the barriers are still there. Families don’t want to talk about it. Patients don’t want to be on medication
 

Carol: What about the media?

Dr. Helvink:  Sensationalized celebrity suicides can actually cause a copycat effect. Cyberbullying through social media causes severe pressure on kids. Nearly 16 percent of kids admit thinking about suicide.
 

Carol: Sounds like an issue for everyone.

Dr. Helvink It takes a village—a collaborative effort of family, friends, community and providers.
 

Carol: How can I help prevent a suicide? 

Dr. Helvink: If you know someone who’s struggling – isolating, consumed with sadness or morbidly preoccupied – don’t wait for them to “snap out of it.” Reach out.
 

Carol:  How do you know when it’s serious?

Dr. Helvink  In my practice, if I hear, “I’m a burden” or “I can’t live like this anymore,” or when a teen hears her friend say she “wishes she were dead.” If they voice it, take it seriously.   

Carol: Some say suicide is an act of cowardice. 

Dr. Helvink: I invite them to have compassion about something that’s tragic, and for many, a result of major depressive disorder.
 

Carol: Can there be a happy ending?

Dr. Helvink: I had a patient who took a serious overdose. After successful treatment for her depression, she told me she never knew she could actually feel good again.
 

Carol: What do you want people to know?

Dr. Helvink Depression is a very treatable condition. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. There is help.

See our full story on Behavioral Health in The HealthSource.
 

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month which is a good time to be extra vigilant with friends and loved ones dealing with extreme sadness or a sense of hopelessness.

Warning signs that someone may be thinking about or planning to commit suicide include:

Always talking or thinking about death

Clinical depression – deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating that gets worse

Having a "death wish," tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights

Losing interest in things one used to care about

Making comments about being hopeless, helpless or worthless

Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will

Saying things like "it would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out"

Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy

Talking about suicide or killing one's self

Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

Be especially concerned if a person is exhibiting any of these warning signs and has attempted suicide in the past. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, between 20 and 50 percent of people who commit suicide have had a previous attempt.